‘Tamil Nadu’s garbage problem can be solved’

C Srinivasan, Founder of Indian Green Service, said 95% of Tamil Nadu’s garbage problem can easily be solved, if the authorities see the value in municipal waste.
‘Tamil Nadu’s garbage problem can be solved’
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Srinivasan, who has successfully implemented the ‘Solid and Liquid Resource Management’ in Chattisgarh and is in the process of replicating it in Varanasi and Gujarat, said garbage generated in residential areas should be collected once in 12 hours. “If it is removed once in every 24 hours, it tends to stink and turn into waste. But if cleared every 12 hours, it is a pure resource, which can be handled in the same ward. This generates employment opportunities and reduces the need for transportation of garbage to dump yards,” he said, explaining the nuances of the system.
In case of bulk generators of organic waste, this ‘garbage’ can be used as raw materials for other sources. “When it comes to food waste, surplus from bulk generators like hotels and other eateries should be collected every six hours and used as raw materials for dog shelters, piggeries or worst case, to the biogas plants. In case of vegetable and fruit markets, the garbage is collected every four hours, which feeds 6,000 cattle in our goshalas. For waste generated by large scale meat markets, this too can be converted to resources,” he added. 
As per this waste management expert, 95% of Tamil Nadu’s garbage problem can be easily solved. “The 5% of the garbage that cannot be recycled is the packaging materials such as plastic covers, toothpaste caps, etc,” he added. The other problem, said Srinivasan, is plastic bags. “The people dump garbage in plastic bags and the cattle on the road eat this and die. This problem is undocumented because carcasses are thrown into the dumpsite. There have been many instances when we have found plastic choking the intestines of cows and causing death,” he added. 
Srinivasan has worked for 15 years in Vellore, helping institutions such as Christian Medical College, Vellore and Golden Temple become zero waste management areas. There is immense gold in garbage, said Srinivasan. “A basic calculation of Bengaluru’s garbage shows huge profits. For example, if there are 25 lakh households and 5 lakh commercial institutions, a gain of Rs 3 per day through recycling/ reusing garbage means that the municipality can generate Rs 27 crore in a single month! Sadly, many of the local bodies in Tamil Nadu don’t view waste with this attitude. We have run many projects across the state, which lose steam once the official changes. We need a concentrated effort to turn Tamil Nadu into a zero waste zone,” he concluded.

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